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Outdoor Activities on Kitsap Peninsula – Seattle’s Outdoor Playground

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Outdoor Adventure on Kitsap Peninsula - Outdoor Activities near Seattle

Just a short ferry ride from Seattle is the Kitsap Peninsula. We visited this fall during our epic month-long road trip up to and down the West Coast. It’s so close to the city, but once you disembark the ferry, it seems like you’ve been transported to a world away. It’s got to be one of the most accessible natural escapes in the state. And lucky for us, it’s brimming with outdoor adventure of all kinds. And because we know you enjoy outdoor activities as much as we do, here are some killer ways to enjoy some outdoor activities on Kitsap Peninsula in Washington state.

Get To Kitsap Peninsula

Kitsap Peninsula is so close to Seattle you can reach out and touch it. If that’s where you’re coming from, you can either take the ferry or drive down through the city and back up again. If you’re coming from the south or Olympic Peninsula or Olympic National Park, there’s a bridge across a narrow part of the inlet. There are several ports in and around Seattle. We took the one from Edmonds, north of Seattle, to Kingston. They charge one price for a vehicle and driver and then per passenger. You can check the exact fares for your preferred route on the WSDOT website. You should get there at least 30 minutes before your intended departure time, earlier on busy weekends.

Mountain biking in Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park.

Mountain Biking

There are scads of mountain biking trails on Kitsap Peninsula. In Port Gamble alone (specifically the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park) there are 3,493 acres of hike and bike trails ranging from wide, family-friendly paths to experienced single track. We chose somewhere in between and had a blast splattering mud all over ourselves while we cut through forest straight out of Ferngully. Didn’t bring your bike? Good thing Olympic Outdoor Center has you covered with quality rentals so you can get out and play.

Outdoor Adventure on Kitsap Peninsula - Outdoor Activities near Seattle
Olympic Outdoor Center in Port Gamble.

Paddling

Kitsap is home to the country’s first ever saltwater National Water Trail. And frankly, with some 371 miles of coastline and 80 access points, it’s preeeeeetty easy to see why. And there’s paddling for everyone, no matter your skill level, experience or preferred method of water sport. Kayak, SUP, fish, kiteboard, do whatever you want. There are coves for families to enjoy and open water for more experienced paddlers. Bring your own boat or rent one from Olympic Outdoor Center. They have 3 locations on Kitsap and will not only offer suggestions for where to float but maps, too.

Outdoor Adventure on Kitsap Peninsula - Outdoor Activities near Seattle
Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve

Hiking

Hiking trails on Kitsap abound. Guillemot Cove is great place to start. With great views of the Olympics on a clear day, a picturesque cove, and miles of trails under rainforesty cover, it’s a perfect hike–not too easy or too strenuous. Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park is another great place to hike with all manner of trails, including one named Ewok Trail. Uh, yes, please. A little farther south is Banner Forest with 4 miles of ferny trails and central to it all is Newberry Hill Heritage Park, a sprawling green space with 13 miles of trails. Want more? We couldn’t hike them all, but you can find a handy map of them all here.

Outdoor Adventure on Kitsap Peninsula - Outdoor Activities near Seattle
A muffin and brownie from Fuelrz.

Refuel

OK, so there aren’t a lot of vegan options when it comes to Kitsap, but you won’t starve, we promise. Fuelrz has vegan baked goods, smoothies, soups and salads on their menu. Nightshade is the perfect spot for dinner or brunch. It’s a conventional restaurant, They serve everything from vegan tacos to french toast to potatoes with vegan chili cheese sauce. Emmy’s Vege House is the only all-veg restaurant on the peninsula and it’s located on Bainbridge Island where you can fill up with Vietnamese food. And if all else fails, There’s always Trader Joes and Central Market so you can grab a pre-made wrap or fixins for a snack on the trail.

And if you’re looking for a place to stay right in the action, Oxford Suites in Silverdale is located right on the bay and you can step right out the door onto the Clear Creek Trail for an 8-mile walk or ride through wetlands and woods. Bonus: they offered several vegan options at their breakfast and happy hour buffet.

Do have fave outdoor activities on Kitsap Peninsula? Share ’em below! Wander on!